Tawfiq bin Fawzan Alrabiah, director general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON), opened Saudi PP & PPSG 2011 exhibition at Riyadh Exhibition Center on Monday. More than 500 companies from 19 countries have displayed their products and services at the show, which is expected to attract more than 30,000 visitors this time. Last year, only 462 companies participated, which drew a crowd of 27,000 trade visitors. The exhibition is a mega trade fair that combines the Saudi Plastics & Petrochem 2011, the 10th International Plastics and Petrochemicals Trade Fair; Saudi PPSG, the 10th International Packaging, Printing, Sign and Graphics Technologies Exhibition; and Makinat Saudi Arabia 2011, the International Trade Exhibition for Industrial Machinery, Machine Tools, and Equipment & Technology for Saudi Arabia. The four-day event organized by the REC is to showcase a wide array of industrial products and services including plastic containers, furniture, health care products, injection systems, pipes and household appliances, in addition to petrochemical products like handling and processing equipment, chemical engineering systems, chemical plant and machinery, environmental and safety equipment, and labs and control equipment. “Saudi PP & Saudi PPSG 2011 continues its tradition of providing a crucial meeting point for regional and international petrochemicals, printing, advertising, and industrial machinery stakeholders,” Mohamed Al-Hussaini, deputy general manager of REC said following the opening ceremony. Al-Hussaini said the event would cater to the networking needs of key stakeholders in the petrochemical, plastics, printing, packaging and sign and graphics industries, creating a venue to meet and discuss the latest industrial trends and business opportunities in the Kingdom and across the region. “The event is growing 20 percent annually in terms of exhibitor numbers and 30 percent in exhibition space, and hosting a number of national pavilions for participating countries. The Kingdom has played an important role in pushing the regional plastics industry into exceptional growth with substantial investment projects currently being developed in the country, making Saudi Arabia the largest producer of polyethylene (by volume) in the Middle East. Recent surveys have also indicated that the Kingdom has the highest per capita consumption of plastics in the Middle East with an astounding 40 kg per person, twice as much as any other country in the Middle East. Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp., one of the two diamond sponsors of the show, ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies. It is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. National Industrialization Company (Tasnee), the other diamond sponsor, is active in petrochemicals, chemicals, plastics, engineering, metals, marketing, packaging and services. It has a work force of more than 5,000 people in the group. Its products are marketed in more than 50 countries worldwide. Besides the diamond sponsors, Petro Rabigh is the gold sponsor and it is supported by MODON.